The Many Jobs of Your Car’s Serpentine Belt

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The Many Jobs of Your Car’s Serpentine Belt

Serpentine Belt powers batteryYou know that long belt that snakes around the front of your engine? It’s called the serpentine belt.

The serpentine belt is driven by the engine as it turns. It powers your alternator, air conditioning compressor and power steering pump. On some vehicles, it also runs the water pump, radiator fan and power brakes. Sounds like a lot of stuff, doesn’t it?

If your serpentine belt were to break on one of our Littleton roads, your battery would die after just a short distance. If it runs your fan or water pump, your engine could overheat. And steering and braking could be more difficult. Obviously, the best thing is to replace your serpentine belt before it breaks.

Check your owner’s manual for when it’s recommended that you replace your serpentine belt – or just ask your Dakota Ridge Auto service advisor by calling 303-795-2600. He can inspect the belt as well to see if it’s in trouble.

You may have been told by a service advisor in Littleton to look for cracks in your belt to see if it needs to be replaced. Of course, cracks are still a concern, but modern belt material doesn’t crack as often as old belts did. What we look for these days is the thickness of the belt. We have a special little tool at Dakota Ridge Auto that measures the depth of the grooves in the belt to see if it needs replacing.

A worn belt can slip or be misaligned, putting undue stress on the accessories it runs.

Now you can imagine it’s important for the belt to be tight, so there’s a tensioner pulley on your engine that puts pressure on the belt to keep it at the right tension. The spring on the tensioner wears out over time, so we recommend replacing the tensioner pulley at the same time as the serpentine belt.

Replacing your serpentine belt on schedule, or when an inspection warrants it, will keep you from an unexpected breakdown.

Stop by or give us a call. At Dakota Ridge Auto we install quality NAPA replacement parts.

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